God’s Thoughts to Me
Today, when you hear His voice, don’t harden your hearts as Israel did when they rebelled (Hebrews 3:15 , NLT).
Today I have the honor of introducing a dear friend, Rachel Haas. My heart sings to the same tune as hers.
Rachel is the most talented writer I have met in a long time and I wish my introduction could have been accompanied by a drum roll.
Rachel’s blog is the only one my husband follows faithfully. Thank you, Rachel for trusting me with your words and all your patience. You are a special lady.
To visit her, just click on her photo. Over to you, Rachel …
My Bleeding Heart
I grew up in the right places. I grew up a good Christian girl, the right kind of person with the right kind of friends.
I had a WWJD bracelet and I knew every step to the dance of Christianity.
I was one of “those people,” the kind that got saved before she started kindergarten, who never drank or smoke or partied.
I was a good girl.
That is, until I started asking questions.
I had no idea what lay on the other side of that door. None. I had never dared even peek outside. They said there was fire and brimstone on the other side.
There were questions there, the kind that belied faith and stripped away the supposed surety I had in the parroted Christianity that I had been embracing since my four-year old lips had formed the Sinner’s Prayer.
They didn’t realize that I was already asking questions.
They expected me to walk on water.
They placed emulating their picture of Jesus on a pedestal, gesturing grandly in the direction of their Jesus-shaped golden calf.
I had two choices: bow down and embrace the floor, where I belonged or turn around and walk out the door.
And so I stood up, dropped the facade, took my husband’s hand, and together we walked out the door.
That was step one. It would be another two years before I even considered taking another step. That first motion of foot in front of foot had been frightening enough.
I had thoughts, a whirlwind of questions that churned inside me, but I had no idea what to do with them. So I wrote them down.
Privately, of course, never even dreaming of voicing them where anyone else might happen to catch a glimpse of my tumult. I mentioned it to this friend, or that, and the responses were always the same: be careful. You know better.
And maybe I did know better. But that wasn’t exactly going to stop me.
I stopped seeing the sanitized Jesus after that. I’m not sure when it happened, but something had started to break inside me.
There was a damn with water churning and frothing behind it, waiting for the moment when I would pull out my finger and let the levy break.
I had to drown.
And I had to be the one who said yes.
I went under the water, hair tangled and mud on my feet. I came up drenched and messy. I found myself blinking in a new Light. I discovered a new kind of faith, almost the opposite of what I had been taught growing up.
There was nothing tidy about this Jesus. He was dirty and bloody and human, Word made flesh. I started seeing myself in a new way.
Yes, I have walked away from the name “Christian.” I can’t stomach the taste in my mouth right now. But that’s all it is: a name. Jesus is not defined by the name His children are called by others.
I am the boy Shasta whispering in the darkness to the Thing unseen, “who are You?”
And the gentle roaring comes back, a whisper on the breeze, a sacred breathing on my face.
P.S. Thank you so much, dear Rachel, for allowing us to accompany you for a while on your walk with Jesus.
Thank you to everyone who supported and encouraged me this year and I wish you all a great New Year filled chok-a-blog with Jesus. Thanks for blessing me with the honor of having you as guests at my blog. You are all so precious and loved.
Sweet blessings xx
Linking-up with the ladies at my Tea Time and Link-Up page.